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Boulder Community Health remains independent with Optum partnership

Through the deal, Optum will manage the health system's data and analytics, revenue cycle management and care coordination.

Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

Boulder Community Health has launched a new partnership with UnitedHealth Group's Optum to remain independent.

Optum will take over the management of BCH's data and analytics, revenue cycle management and care coordination. About 280 BCH employees will transition to working for Optum under the same positions, as well.

Under the partnership, BCH will continue to make all decisions regarding patient care and strategic planning to keep the community's needs at the forefront, according to the company.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has required many health systems to reevaluate their long-term plans.

For BCH, this solution allows it to remain an independent community-based organization while receiving access to Optum's services, resources and scale.

"We have heard from our community, our physicians and our employees that remaining independent is critical to keeping healthcare decision-making local and in the best interest of the communities we serve," said Jeff Morgan, chair of the BCH Board of Directors, in a statement. "Partnering with Optum helps us overcome the significant financial challenges facing smaller health systems and maintain innovative, patient-centric medical care in our community."

The two organizations hope the partnership improves health outcomes, reduces the cost of care and drives revenue improvement.


This partnership with BCH marks Optum's second of its kind, with the company teaming up with John Muir Health last year.

In that deal, Optum took over the system's non-clinical functions and approximately 540 employees from John Muir Health were absorbed.

Partnerships like these can offer an alternative to acquisitions that can often lead to higher costs, less competition and stagnant quality of care, according to a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information.


"This innovative relationship with Optum flows directly from BCH's strategic vision of partnering to create and care for the healthiest community in the nation," said Dr. Robert Vissers in a statement, BCH president and CEO. "Together, we will innovate to enhance and further personalize the patient experience at BCH.  Our physicians and nurses will be able to bring more data-driven insights to the care of our patients using Optum's clinical technologies and advanced analytic tools. This really accelerates our ability to build upon the transformational care we provide the community while lowering our operating costs."

Twitter: @HackettMallory
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